The white elephants are coming.
Thanks to their win over Baltimore and the New York Yankees' loss to Minnesota, the Oakland Athletics - baseball's Cinderella story of 2018 - moved to within one game of the suddenly slumping Yankees for home-field advantage in next month's American League wild-card game.
New York, which has now lost two games in a row and is just 4-6 in its last 10 contests, fell victim to Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi on Wednesday, who no-hit one of baseball's best offenses for 7 1/3 innings. The A's, meanwhile, scored all of their runs during an incredible 10-run third inning in Baltimore.
It's looking more and more like the Yankees will have to enter the Oakland Coliseum on Oct. 3, and the Athletics may hold the schedule advantage in the race for home field. They only play six more games against opponents with winning records (three each versus the Rays and Mariners) and finish the season with a three-game set in Anaheim against the Angels.
The Yankees, meanwhile, only get AL East opponents the rest of the way - and while that does include series against the sub-.500 Blue Jays and Orioles, they also have six games left against the powerful Boston Red Sox, including a season-ending series at Fenway Park.
New York and Oakland split their season series at three wins each, but the next tiebreaker - intra-divisional record - goes the way of the Bronx Bombers, who hold a 34-26 record against the AL East compared to Oakland's 33-34 mark versus the AL West. Thus, the Yankees currently hold the tiebreaker for home-field advantage in the wild-card game if it comes into play.
The A's can move to within a half-game of the Yankees if they beat the Orioles again Thursday night. New York doesn't play again until Friday against Toronto, meaning Oakland won't be able to pass them before then.